And the Norris Trophy goes to ...

And the Norris Trophy goes to ...
April 19, 2014, 12:45 pm
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As members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, we are asked to vote on the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, top defenseman, top rookie, top defensive forward, most gentlemanly player and its All-Star teams at each position.

Here are my picks for the Norris Trophy, which goes to “the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position:”

1. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins – He is 6-foot-9, 255 pounds of muscle. He finished fourth among NHL defenseman in goals [17] and seventh in plus-minus [plus-25]. But here’s the number that grabs your attention: 37. That’s how old Chara turned last month and he remains the best all-around blue liner in the game.

2. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings – If there is a year Doughty can supplant Chara as a Norris winner, this would be it. He followed an excellent gold-medal winning performance in the Olympics with a strong finish for the Kings, who allowed the fewest goals against per game [2.05].

3. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators – Show me a defenseman who can score 23 goals, record 56 points and average nearly 27 minutes a game and I’ll show you a Norris Trophy candidate. The Preds’ inability to make the playoffs undoubtedly will hurt Weber’s chances. With that in mind, any way to get this guy in a Caps’ uniform?

4. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks – If Keith was used in more of a shut-down role he’d receive greater consideration, but his offensive numbers [55 assists, 61 points] are hard to ignore, especially on a reigning Stanley Cup champion.

5. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues – At 24, Pietrangelo is beginning to justify why the Blues took him with the fourth pick of the 2008 NHL draft. In his fourth full season in the NHL Pietrangelo had eight goals and 43 assists and was a plus-20 on one of the NHL’s stingiest defensive teams.

 [RELATED: Who wins the Hart Trophy? Chuck Gormley weighs in]